During the sometimes bizarre and sometimes surreal Republican nomination process here in the US, one thing was certain: a majority of primary voters in the Republican party did not want Mitt Romney, the former Governor of Massachusetts as the presidential flag-bearer for the Republican party.
The primary reason given by many of these voters is that Romney is not conservative enough and in particular the fact that he introduced healthcare law in Massachusetts when he was governor that became the model President Barrack Obama patterned his own healthcare law that most Republicans loath because they see it as a form of wealth transfer to the poor—something they are naturally opposed the mean spirited and heartless many of them are.
Be that as it may be, we saw quite some drama during most of the process when so many characters occupied the “anyone but Romney” spot only to crush and burn a few weeks later.
After several of these crushes and burnings, the field was left with 2 arguably “Romney alternatives” in the faces of former US House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former US Senator Rick Santorum.
These two gentlemen went after each other so viciously in a bid to outdo each other and position themselves as the alternative to Romney but when neither would knock the other one out and remain the only one challenging Romney, the two now started urging each other to simply abandon their efforts and have their supporters join forces with the one left to defeat or more precisely deny Romney the nomination for the Republican party.
All of these efforts failed and the very person nearly all Republicans did not want as their nominee to face Obama in the fall is now guaranteed to be the nominee, having racked up 1191 delegates of the 1144 needed to be nominated.
The closest contender who has since bowed out of the race only has 265.
The Republican party nomination drama and theatrics is very similar to what is happening in Kenya with respect to the presidential politics even though the dissimilar in important respects.
The major difference between the Republican nomination process and the Kenyan situation is, while many have been opposed to Mitt Romney’s nomination as flag-bearer for the Republicans for valid, intellectually sound substantive reasons, there has not been a single reason articulated by the so called G7 why each and all of them are adamant about “stopping” Raila from being reelected as president.
However, we can surmise the following reasons as to why:
First, Raila presents the most threat to their ill-gained wealth, corruption and impunity.
In a blog to be posted soon, I will discuss 10 things that must be on the To Do List for our next president and leading that list is taking corruption head on for the first time and ensuring an end to impunity for real.
No one can make a case that passes the laugh test that there is anyone among those vying who is better suited to address corruption and impunity in Kenya than Raila himself.
In a rational society, this fact alone would be a sure-in for Raila as president.
Unfortunately, however, we are not dealing with a rational society when it comes to Kenyan politics.
Characterized as it is by individuals who would lie, distort and manipulate facts at will for their own selfish needs and without caring one whit about the average Kenyan, and given the abundance of illiteracy, tribalism and a general lack of information or sophistry among a large segment of our population, these shameless politicians have and continue to believe they can get their way regardless of truth, fact or welfare of our country.
Let’s hope not anymore.
Second, the so-called G7 or otherwise those bent on “stopping” Raila, are driven by an abnormal level of mixed hate and jealousy for Raila that is unprecedented and unparalleled both in Kenya and the rest of the world.
Every country has a presidential candidate a good segment of its population just can’t stand or simply hates but usually this is along ideological lines.
The level of hatred and intensity directed at Raila by those who hate him cannot be attributed to ideology at all.
Rather, people hate Raila or can’t stand him largely because of his tribe or based on false information and beliefs they hold to be true when it’s simply not true.
Leading in the spreading of that hate and vitriol are none other than Raila’s political opponents who know that is the only way they can hurt him politically, given they are all individually or collectively lightweights compared to Raila and his accomplishments as a leader.
Finally, but not least, the so-called G7 and other Raila haters are determined to gang against him because Raila is popular among Kenyans from all walks of life save for the tribalists and those brain-washed by the same G7 crew.
What they don’t understand is, no matter how much they smear and drag his name through the mud, Raila still remains popular and, like Mitt Romney, he will emerge at the top despite all manner of effort to stop him from getting there.
The only difference is, while Mitt Romney’s top may be the nomination as flag-bearer for the Republican party, Raila’s top will be the presidency of Kenya he was previously given the nod but not sworn.